Might as well go for a grandiose post title. But it’s true, it’s time for a second wave of planting in the beds. It’s mid-June and a lot of plants have come out of the beds – lettuce, spinach, and cole crops. I can leave a broccoli plant after picking the head and it will make some more florets, but if I need the space for something else then out it comes (or goes).
Today a second planting went into the brassica bed. This morning I harvested kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli and a cauliflower from one end of the bed. Then I pulled all of them out, as well as two more broccoli plants that had been picked (decapitated?) earlier. That left about 4 feet of open bed. Can’t have that, especially in a small garden like this where I'm trying to get the maximum from the space. The soil was broken up with a hoe, weeds were removed and a handful of fertilizer worked in. Then I made three grooves with my hands, spread some legume inoculum and seeded the three rows with Tendergreen bush beans.
Let me say right here that I never plan what goes in when the first planting comes out. I just go with the flow. In the last week I’ve also seeded two rows of carrots, a row of beets, and a patch of scallions in the spaces that have opened up.
Suckering tomatoes: This year I pruned to leave one sucker about 6-12 inches above soil level. This makes a forked stem that I hope fills out the cage, which is about 2 feet in diameter. I leave a few more suckers higher on the main stem if I think they will help fill the cage, otherwise most suckers are removed. I also try to remove most of the foliage near the bottom to help air flow. Here’s a picture of the Supersonic tomato plant at ground level. The branch on the right is the main stem.
This is the San Marzano plant, a sauce tomato. I need to remove some more of the low foliage on these plants, it’s a jungle down there.
And here’s the three tomato plants in their adjoined cages. I'm just showing off now. Nice looking tomato plants aren't they?
I put the last siding pieces on the potato box today. First I cut holes in the middle of each piece and directed one more shoot from each plant through the holes (I had precut the holes at the ends but it turns out they were useless). Then I added more shredded leaf mold and put a handful of fertilizer in the center. I don’t plan to do any more with the box, just let the potatoes grow and see what happens.
The potatoes in the beds have grown at an amazing rate lately. It seems like a week ago I was putting in the last of the straw around the plants. Now the foliage is so thick that the ground can’t be seen. I’ll have to get some good string to tie between the posts before the plants become top heavy.
The month of June has been sunny and temperate, in fact excellent weather and the plants have responded well, meaning they are growing like crazy. This was the garden on May 30:
And here it is today: